Sunday, August 21, 2011
Last night's party was epic. Not necessarily in the best way, though. The cops were called, the fire trucks, the ambulance, fightin' words, thrown rocks, all piercing what should have been a night of celebrating summer and friendship and all that is great about our lives. Ignorant neighbors and emotions that could no longer be contained lead to a bitter feud that grew uglier as the night wore on. I am frightened of ignorant people, you simply do not know how they will react to a situation. I am not foolish enough to believe that a shooting or stabbing can't happen in my world.
As I stood back in the shadows, away from the dangerous drama that was unfolding around the fire pit, I was confronted by a friend and challenged on my food passions. I was taken aback as he tried to present his side of the story, telling me I was wrong and extremist. I listened, as I do anyone whom I respect, because I want to be informed and educated. But as the night wore on, and all day today on the drive back home, this conversation continues to bother me, even though we left it as "are we cool?" I think the issue, though, is that I was willing to listen and accept that bashing the enemy is probably not the best approach, but he was not willing to listen to me and accept the research I've done in the past five years, research performed by competent, ethical researchers who report the results fairly and aren't paid for the answers. We have a severe problem with our food supply, one that is documented and all but linked as causal, not merely correlational. And the government sponsors lobbyists and big business to research and report that the chemicals, the antibiotics, the hormones, are not harmful. I simply can't accept this, given the research I've read over and over again. If I'm passionate, it's because I think people deserve to hear the message, just as the researchers and authors who have brought it to me have done.
My personal experience has been that I am healthier because my family always cooked, always had a garden, and taught me about nutrition. I am never sick. Ever. As I learn more about sustainable food and ethical treatment of not only animals, but the people working to raise and process them, I have a responsibility to myself and those I love to feed them right. My lesson learned is to be careful of my audience, and perhaps stop preaching to those who don't want to be converted. My lesson is to put my money and time and energy into helping those who share my beliefs.
But it doesn't stop here. As I read CNN online, I shake my head at the violence, senseless acts of irreparable damage done by people, whose emotions have overcome logical thought. It's a scary world, and I want to do what I can to make it a better place. This might mean stepping off my soapbox more often, and learning to live my passions through sheer solitary bliss.
Posted by Cyndi Johnson at 3:44 PM
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Along with the feeling that my house is clean (before my mother-in-law comes to visit next week!), I have this immense sense of relief. Staunch feminist that I am, I gave up years ago nagging husbands to help with housework. The ones I've chosen are not wired for it, and I've chosen to stop fighting. My husband now, however, has many great qualities that warrant me not nagging to help with housework.
Now the other side of the feminist perspective that I will address is this - how could I hire someone to seemingly repress them into the things that I don't want to do? Is this another form of slavery? I argue that it's not. And here's why. I hired a woman who runs a business and helps other women with gainful, dignified employment. We all have talents, and cleaning houses should not be dismissed as anything less than vitally important. And helping women succeed in business makes me feel good. I think it's good for everyone involved. I can continue to work at a job that I make more complex, and chip away at my PhD degree with the comfort that my house is clean, and I'm supporting independent women. I couldn't be more at peace tonight as I bake a decadent chocolate cake for a dinner party tomorrow with fabulous friends.
Posted by Cyndi Johnson at 5:01 PM
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I am living a dream. One that I merely dared to dream most of my life. I complain, I have challenges, sure, we all do. But I know, just about every day of my life, that I am one of the lucky ones. And I don't for one moment take it for granted. I am living on my own castle on a cloud.
Posted by Cyndi Johnson at 8:42 PM